Triple Crown – Hound Ears

This weekend marked the beginning of the 2014 Triple Crown Bouldering competition series, and also the first weekend that was super friggin’ cold! It felt like one of those middle school nights where first you soak in a hot tub, then plunge into a frigid cold swimming pool while shrieking with delight, and then pop back in the hot tub and do this over and over again. Except that the hot tub just closed for six months and you have to stay in the pool until then. Yes, winter has arrived this weekend and it’s here to stay, so you better learn to enjoy it.

(If you didn’t do that hottub/pool thing in middle school, sorry, but you missed out big time.)

We were both psyched to help out during Hound Ears as judges, arriving at the campground at 6:45am on the day of the comp. While waiting around a couple hours for the morning drizzle to dry off the rocks, we took advantage of the free coffee provided by Thea from Footsloggers (thanks!). After five cups it was time for me to do… something! Anything! SO MUCH ENERGY. Soon the rocks were dry enough and I (very excitedly) helped herd people onto shuttle busses and made awkward caffeine-fueled conversation with folks as I collected their waivers. Despite one bus breaking down, all 400+ people finally made it up to the boulder field and things could start.

I was initially looking forward to running around Hound Ears climbing with all my friends. Then last weekend, my ankle was kicked out during a soccer game and plans changed. My new goal became hobbling around slowly without hurting my ankle worse, cheering on friends and strangers, and signing scorecards as an official judge.

Olivia’s recent blogposts have been super inspirational about having a positive attitude while injured.  It also helps that the world is a beautiful place (especially in the fall) so my view of people climbing looked like this:

Hound Ears
Not a bad view of fall foliage… and Julie really got to get up close and personal with nature as she ascended this sketchy v3 into lichen, moss, trees and leaves.

When I wasn’t busy signing scorecards or hiding my frigid fingers deep into pockets, I managed to snap off a few photos:

Hound Ears
With Brennen Bull star-chasing all over the place, we saw a lot of this view. It all paid off, because Brennen and his bright blue pants went home as winners!
Hound Ears Blade Julie
Julie Hwang and her crazy strong fingers on the classic Blade V6.
Hound Ears Blade Lisa
Lisa Hummel slicing her way through the Blade V6. (Like buttuh.)
Hailey racking up some points with Woody’s v3 (a V5 with a misleading name).
Hound Ears
Dan Horne wanted to be cool like Hailey, so he hopped on Woody’s v3 and crushed the pants off of it.
IMG_0158
The Clawwwwwww V4. (It’s hard to say the name of this problem without thinking of Toy Story.)
Hound Ears Julie
Julie was chosen to ascend The Claw V4. (Oooooooohhh.)
Hound Ears controller
Ian Rogers having a power struggle with The Controller V6.
Hound Ears cold
Cold widdle Rumi made a new friend and crawled inside Al’s puffy jacket. So crazy to bump into a dude we met in Arkansas back on our road trip!

People turned in their scorecards and meandered back to the campground to eat chili. Slowly but surely, the sky darkened and things got more interesting. There was a pad-stacking contest (who can balance atop the highest # of crashpads), winners were announces, and some numbered balls were thrown into the audience. I was busy cuddling with a shivering puppy in the minivan, but Drexel and his brother Carson caught ALL THE BALLS and won some legit stuff, like a new chalk pot, down jacket, and framepack. These are not your average door prizes ladies and gentlemen.

Back home again, but we’re looking forward to Stone Fort at the end of this month. I’m crossing my fingers that my sprained ankle will be healed up by then, but if not, I look forward to signing everyone’s scorecards again with a big red “J.”

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One thought on “Triple Crown – Hound Ears”

  1. So sorry about your ankle. I recommend a lace up type ankle brace while it heals so you won’t keep turning it and flaring it back up. Great to see the CCC blogs float through my e-mail again!

    Like

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